Keeping Your Crawl Space in Check

Jun 25, 2024

It’s easy for homeowners to overlook their crawl spaces when conducting routine maintenance. While not every home has a crawl space, keeping it in check isn’t as hard as you might think. In fact, there are several benefits to incorporating some routine crawl space maintenance into your annual home to-do list. It can even help preserve your foundation!

Characteristics of a Crawl Space

A crawl space foundation provides up to three feet of clearance between your home and the ground. Lifting your home from the ground offers a few differences between this type of foundation and slab foundations.

Easy Access to Utilities

One of the main reasons many people find crawl spaces appealing is that they can be used to route ductwork, plumbing, electrical wiring and more. This placement makes performing maintenance or even rerouting these utilities much more accessible.

The pipes underneath your house could freeze in cold weather, but you can easily install insulation to protect them from low temperatures.

Termite Prevention

Pests will have a more challenging time getting to your floorboards if your floors are three feet above the soil. Termites can be a massive issue for any type of home, but raising your home from the ground significantly reduces the risk of an infestation.

A More Cost-Effective Option

Crawl space foundations are cheaper to build than their alternatives, but the need for periodic maintenance counters the lower up-front cost.

How to Maintain Your Crawl Space

It’s nice to notice a problem immediately, but preventing it in the first place is even more valuable. There are some ways you, as a homeowner, can avoid future headaches when maintaining your crawl space.

Improve Airflow

Ventilation is essential throughout your home, and your crawl space is no exception. If you have a crawl space with outdoor vents, make sure you regularly maintain them so they operate as intended. You can do so by removing accumulated debris and replacing them if they begin to deteriorate.

Remove Moisture

Foundation vents might not always be an option. If they don’t solve your damp crawl space issue, you might need to find another option. Dehumidifiers are an excellent and affordable way to control the amount of moisture in the air.

Signs Your Crawl Space Might Need Attention

Most people don’t inspect their crawl space on their own, so it can be challenging to determine if maintenance is needed. A few things might indicate problems below your house. If you think any of these issues come from structural damage below your floors, scheduling an evaluation is a smart idea.

Foul Odors

Wood rot, mold and mildew cause smells that nobody wants in their homes. If you notice these odors but can’t trace them to their source, it’s probably a good idea to check out spots that are usually dark and damp.

A Rise in Allergens

Poor air quality is another indication that something is wrong in your home. Mold spores and dust mites thrive in damp areas without proper ventilation. People react to allergies differently, but if you notice your allergies or asthma getting worse, you may have issues under your home.

Uneven Floors

Warped hardwood or bubbled vinyl floors can quickly warn you of an existing problem. This type of damage usually points to a more significant issue of moisture buildup that requires an expert to inspect.

TIP: Check out our blog on preparing your home for heavy rain for tips on keeping moisture out of your crawl space.

Let’s Take a Look

Ready to take your foundation to the next level? We’d be happy to help. Request a free evaluation, and we’ll get your home in excellent shape right away.